Tom Hanks has been working to bring the space rangin’ Major Matt Mason to the big screen for a few years. It was announced back in early 2009 that Hanks had signed a deal with Mattel to take a Mason movie project to Universal, and that From the Earth to the Moon‘s Graham Yost was writing the screenplay.
You almost certainly won’t know Mason if you were born after 1970. He’s a bit of a do-gooder type, but he’s got some impressive accessories from the Uni-Tred Hauler to the Fireball Space Cannon.
Somewhere along the way, the pretty-dependable Baseline Studio System started to list Hanks as an actor on the film, as well as producer. Now, Hanks’ co-producer Gary Goetzman has been talking about the film with The Hollywood Reporter and they’re reporting that Hanks is also a co-writer on the movie, alongside Yost.
The current plan, however, is not for Hanks to direct the picture. At the moment, Robert Zemeckis is in talks to take the gig, reuniting with Hanks after Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Polar Express.
The film is set to be filmed in 3D, which worked pretty well for Hanks’ previous IMAX endeavour, Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon. The budget will be “over $100 million”, which is a tremendous amount of money, no matter how many over-$300 million movies get slung out there.
He’s not the most popular plastic chap in the world, but Major Matt Mason has got friends in high places. During Channel 4′s The 100 Greatest Toys, host Jonathan Ross claimed that Mason was his personal favorite. The voting public disagreed, placing the articulated astronaut at number 96, between Ben 10 action figures and Bratz dolls. Ouch.
According to a Major Mattt Mason colouring book, by Dan Spiegle and Al Andersen, the moon was also home to some aliens, the “Outcasts of Zycron”. No idea if they’re considered a part of Mason canon, or indeed if the film is likely to feature these, or any other, alien life forms. My hunch, though, is that Hanks would like to maintain at least a high percentage of realism in the film. He appears to be a real NASA nut, a lunar loon, a proper Moonie, etc.